bikerack.JPGA few years back, Mayor Bloomberg made a commitment to add 200 miles of bike lanes to the city, which is a wonderful thing. Anyone who has pedaled down the new bike lane on 9th Avenue can testify to the pleasures of biking in the city without immediate danger of being brained by a bus

One (not so) small problem: where do you lock up  your bike?

If you can’t find room on one of the (rare) bike racks around the city, you’re left scouting for sign poles, which are often crowded with bikes and which leave your bike at risk for being whacked by a car door, dinged by a cab, or sandwiched in by other locked bikes. (For a sort of helpful DOT map of bike racks, click here.)

The bike lane/bike rack problem reminds me of the school problem (okay, everything reminds me of the school problems, true): those glass-box expensive condos getting built to lure “families” into the city, without anyone, apparently, noticing that the schools didn’t have room for all the shiny families moving into those shiny condos.

So for the moment, these bike lanes are lovely additions to our city, if what you want is a Sunday afternoon ride, or a little exercise. But for those of us who want to use our bikes to get to work, shlep groceries or children, do errands, get to class? As with the condo/school conundrum, Bloomberg again demonstrates that he is a mayor who can’t quite see all the way down the food chain: if he really wants “the people” to start using bikes as alternative transportation, then “the people” need a place to park.